Invasive species

The negative impacts of residential and commercial development on conifers is so severe that it has led to conifer species becoming Critically Endangered. Ironically, the very system put in place to protect biodiversty, such as national parks, can have a negative impact on biodiversity. Here the most detrimental impacts can be from the visiting public by bringing an increased risk of fire and the introduction of harmful pests and diseases. As a result of an explosive growth rates in the human population over the last 50 years there has been a steady drift of people from the city centres into urban areas. It is estimated that 60% of the Earth's population will live in urban areas by 2030. Hence these increasing population densities and mounting development pressures are causing large tracks of land in the immediate surroundings of urban areas undergoing a process of what is known as urbanisation. This phenomenon directly alters forest ecosystems by removing or fragmenting forest cover. It indirectly alters forest ecosystems by modifying hydrology, altering nutrient cycling, modifying disturbance regimes, and changing atmospheric conditions. 

<em>Tetraclinis articulata</em>, Malta

Tetraclinis articulata, Malta© M.Gardner, RBGE

Taxa in the category - Invasive species:

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Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.

Distributed in three States of eastern USA but as a result of severe infestation from the Balsam woolly adelgid, only one population remains unaffected Read full species entry >

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Abies koreana E.H.Wilson

Endemic to four mountains in South Korea, the population suffers a range of threats including climate change, introduced pathogens and invasive native and non-native plants Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo Boiss.

The Spanish fir has two subspecies distributed in southern Spain and northern Morocco where threats include fire, grazing and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo var. marocana (Trabut) Ceballos & Bolanos

The Moroccan fir is restricted to two small forests in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco where over a period of 60 years it has suffered a 70% decline. Read full species entry >

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Agathis montana de laub.

Endemic to the Mt. Panié range in northern New Caledonia where recent research has found that the decline and loss of old-growth trees is probably due to a combination of factors including root damage by feral pigs, pathogen attack and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria araucana (Molina) K. Koch

Endemic to southern Argentina and Chile where it mainly occurs in the Andes. Threats include fire, grazing and encroachment from commercial plantations of exotic species. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria heterophylla (Salisb.) Franco

Endemic to Australia (Norfolk Island Group) where historical logging and forest clearance significantly reduced the population. Today the main threats relate to the impacts of invasive non-native species. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria humboldtensis J. Buchholz

One of 13 species of Araucaria endemic to New Caledonia where it is restricted to less than five locations. There has been a recent decline in the health of some high altitude stands. Read full species entry >

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